In today’s article, I want to share 30 quotes by Epictetus. This is part 3 of the Stoicism Series.
If you don’t know what Stoicism is and who Epictetus is, check out part 1: What Is Stoicism, And How Can It Help You Become A Better Trader.
And here’s part 2: 30 Quotes By Marcus Aurelius For Traders
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants
Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.
There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will.
First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
Anything or anyone capable of angering you becomes your master.
He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.
Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.
Other people’s views and troubles can be contagious. Don’t sabotage yourself by unwittingly adopting negative, unproductive attitudes through your associations with others.
Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.
It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.
To accuse others for one’s own misfortune is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.
No man is free who is not master of himself.
He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
Caretake this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. Quit evasions. Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.
Don’t seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you.
Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.
A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single
It is better to die of hunger having lived without grief and fear, than to live with a troubled spirit, amid abundance.
Appearances to the mind are of four kinds. Things either are what they appear to be; or they neither are, nor appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man’s task.
No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.
Nothing is by its own nature calamitous — even death is terrible only if we fear it.
Tentative efforts lead to tentative outcomes. Therefore, give yourself fully to your endeavors. Decide to construct your character through excellent actions and determine to pay the price of a worthy goal. The trials you encounter will introduce you to your strengths. Remain steadfast…and one day you will build something that endures: something worthy of your potential.”
If any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone.
On the occasion of every accident that befalls you, remember to turn to yourself and inquire what power you have for turning it to use.
It is better to do wrong seldom and to own it, and to act right for the most part, than seldom to admit that you have done wrong and to do wrong often.
Imagine for yourself a character, a model personality, whose example you determine to follow, in private as well as in public.
Never depend on the admiration of others. There is no strength in it. Personal merit cannot be derived from an external source. It is not to be found in your personal associations, nor can it be found in the regard of other people. It is a fact of life that other people, even people who love you, will not necessarily agree with your ideas, understand you, or share your enthusiasms. Grow up! Who cares what other people think about you!
What concerns me is not the way things are, but the way people think things are.
Those who are well constituted in the body endure both heat and cold: and so those who are well constituted in the soul endure both anger and grief and excessive joy and the other affects.
These quotes (and many others) can be found in The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday.
There are many books out there that attempt to recount the work of Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Seneca, and other stoic leaders. As is often the case when reading old literary works as such, the wordings can be difficult to decode. Some translations are also often inaccurate and the meaning is lost.
The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living sorts through the noise and gathers the essential. This book will simply make you think more deeply about your life; about the circumstances you find yourself in, and it will help you extract wisdom and meaning, one page at a time, so that you can live a better life… more peaceful and at ease with everything.
But as Epictetus once said:
Don’t just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person. Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents.
The message is clear: Change starts with practice. You can’t expect to change your life by simply reading a book. or an article. Things don’t work that way, unfortunately. You will need to follow through with some exercises.
So if you are eager to begin implementing stoic ethics and principles in your life — living them and making some real change in your trading — check out the offer below. I might be able to help you accelerate your growth. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have questions.